As mentioned earlier I laid down the money for the Cinestar 3 axis gimbal from Freefly. I bought it from www.quadrocopter.com. The customer service was awesome and the shipping was scary fast. I ordered on a Monday morning and had the gimbal in my hand Thursday with USPS Priority Mail. I have been working with carbon fiber for the better part of 10 years, and I must say that the Cinestar gimbal is a work of art. The servos feel very smooth. I have yet to power them. The gimbal came separated in two boxes. One for the pan axis and the other box contained the roll / tilt axis. Assembling the two halves was very simple. www.freeflysystems.com has very good tutorial videos to guide the new Cinestar owner through all of the setup and assembly. So with that said I have not used the gimbal yet. In fact I just got around to making the parts I needed to complete it.
Today I cut the legs for the Cinestar Gimbal. At $210 for a set of landing gear I decided to build my own for much cheaper. After all I do know a guy who machines carbon all day.. I purchased some 25mm boom blocks from www.quadframe.us and began designing my new Cinestar landing legs. I had to have some sort of style in them so I opted for the WBD logo and gave them a bit of a curve. I tied them together at the bottom like the original Cinestar legs. See the pictures below for more details.
For a gimbal controller I decided to step out on a limb and try a multiwii based controller which is actually one of my Quadrino Zoom boards. At one time I had noticed in the multiwii code that there was an option to declare a gimbal. After some research about what exactly to edit in the code to get the desired effect I was after it was decided to test the board on my basic gopro gimbal I built a while back. If any of you are interested in the multiwii gimbal controller or would like me to post what I did exactly let me know. email@example.com . Anyways, I needed a way to properly mount the board to the frame and I also needed a battery tray for the main power battery. So the design for the combo fc mounting plate / battery tray was born. See the pictures below for more details.
Long ago my wife and I were going to do some aerial photography and due to FAA & FCC restrictions we were grounded. I had purchased a Canon A640 for that project after learning about the different controllers one could purchase to control most of the aspects of the camera such as zoom, shutter, video start/stop, etc. all from an RC radio. That camera has lasted me a very long time and I still use it. My A640 has been dropped, crashed, broken, repaired and is still kicking, taking great pictures. It was a no brainer for me on this project to choose a Canon DSLR. I chose the T2i for numerous reason. The two main being weight and price. I happened on this one for a very good price and could not pass it up. The T2i was used on one vacation then put back in the box then on a shelf. The camera is basically new.
For a radio to control the gimbal with I decided to stick with a Turnigy 9x modded like my current flight radio that has been solid as a rock since day one. Turnigy 9x / frsky DIY 2.4ghz module / smartie parts pogo board / ER9x firmware. Sounds like a ton of stuff but with all of that the radio is still under $100 and performs just as good as any of the other radio I have ever owned. The receivers use diversity and there is a wide variety of types. Telemetry via the receiver is also an option with the frsky system. ER9x is an open source firmware replacement for the 9X giving it much more flexibility.
By this point you have probably figured out the MonsterHex will be a two person operation. One pilot and one camera operator. The camera operator will have his/her own screen. The video will be transmitted to the camera operator via a 900mhz signal. More to come on that as the project continues. Check out the pictures below.